Friday, May 6, 2022

LMNOP vs The Wise Enchanter

I have both The Wise Enchanter: A Journey Through the Alphabet and the LMNOP Laminated Wall Cards in my list of 8 First Grade Books. Here's why:

Picture Books

I like introducing the Capital Letters slowly, taking two main lesson blocks, and usually choose stories where the letters can be presented in pairs. I like to use picture books that I already have on my shelf to help bring these pairings to life. For example, S is for Stars and O is for Otter (A Lot of Otters by Barbara Helen Berger).

Sometimes we use the picture ideas from LMNOP or The Wise Enchanter and sometimes we don't. All of my notes from each time teaching this block -- including my most recent notes from 2021/2022 -- are in the Capital Letters Ruzuku course. (I like to do potato printing and make little otter faces.)

LMNOP Laminated Wall Cards

I also like the cards because I prefer to do the letters out of order. It is fun to slowly put the alphabet together. It is more fun to practice things that require the whole alphabet in order at the end of the block (like the "Marching Around the Alphabet" song by Hap Palmer or the "Go Go Gorilla" game from Alphabet Zoop by Ravensburger) if you haven't been doing it in order the whole time. Taking all the alphabet cards and putting them in alphabetical order feels like a big achievement!

Plus, if kids already know the alphabet and they are doing it with you all over again in the Waldorf-y way, presenting the letters out of order keeps them on their toes and keeps the fun in things. It's authentic because they really are looking for a letter picture in the story!

If your child is shaping up to be a reluctant writer/reader, the LMNOP Cards are a bite-size piece because you can only be looking at one at a time. It's not a huge book filled with lots of letters. Just set up one! You could also make an A-Z wall display of them but put the cards up with blu-tack one at a time as you learn that letter. Lastly, you can use the laminated wall cards to spell out words as long as the word in question doesn't use any letter twice. What fun!

The Wise Enchanter

With my youngest child, Zac, we spent two months on the Capital Letters (November and January) and then read The Wise Enchanter as a read aloud in April and May as a fun way to review the letters. He knows them all by now, as well as some of the sounds they can represent, so he had fun trying to look ahead at the next letter in the alphabet and try to figure out the picture. Some of the words and pictures are the same as the ones we did (like X is for Xylophone and Y is for Yak) and some of them are different.

Now that he knows all of the letters, his energy is also freed up to allow him to follow the plot of the story. I think it's much more enjoyable for him to be able to tune in on the characters and all of the exciting action, and not be trying to learn the letters at the same time. That would be a lot!!!

Bear in mind that Zac didn't know any of the letters, except for the three that make up his name, when he started First Grade. He was a true Waldorf first grader; he didn't even know the alphabet song. If your child knows all of the letters and you don't want to do a whole MLB, but you want to give them the Waldorf-y experience of seeing letters as pictures, you could just jump to The Wise Enchanter. However, I love doing all of the stories and all of the art and hands-on activities, so even if one of my first grade students knows the letters A through Z, I like to do the Capital Letters block full-on regardless.

Here is some more information to help you make your decision:

LMNOP and All the Letters A to Z
sound-filled poems

A - ah
B - bear
C - cave
D - dragon
E - eagle
F - firebird
G - goose
H - handshake
I - I
J - jester
K - king
L - lily
M - mountains
N - net
O - oh
P - prince
Q - queen
R - river
S - stars
T - tower
U - under
V - valley
W - wave
X - excellency
Y - yew
Z - zigzag lightning

The Wise Enchanter
chapter book, letters presented within one continuous narrative story

A - ancestor
B - boat
C - cave
D - Dwarf of the Door
E - elephant
F - fish
G - goose
H - house
I - Isles of Imagination
J - Jumping Jack
K - king
L - Lilah of the Lake
M - mountains
N - nebula
O - Opal
P - prince
Q - queen
R - robber
S - snake
T - tree
U - under
V - valley
W - wave
X - xylophone
Y - yak
Z - zigzag path

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1 comment:

Renee said...

New post! The list of images for each letter in The Tiptoes Lightly Alphabet Book by Reg Down.